NEA International Radiological Protection School (IRPS)

    Preparing tomorrow's radiological protection leaders by learning from today's experts

    Stockholm University, Sweden

    20-24 August 2018

    The application period for 2018 is currently closed. Applicants will be notified of their status via e-mail by June 2018. Applicants are advised not to make any travel arrangements until they receive confirmation of their application acceptance.


    With the advent of the many beneficial uses of atomic radiation and nuclear technology over the last century, experts in both national and international fora have worked for the establishment and the evolution of a system of radiological protection (RP). Many RP principles have been agreed and accepted globally and serve as the basis upon which many national regulations and guidance are built. International bodies addressing RP issues within their charters, such as the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), through its Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), have contributed to the evolution of the system of radiological protection by sharing experience and knowledge. This practical feedback continues to refine the underlying principles of the international RP system. These principles also reflect state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, as well as the experience and collective understanding accumulated over many decades. Their application has long benefited from the very experts who helped to establish the global framework of guidance, standards, recommendations and best practices, and who are also involved in applying this framework in their home countries. 

    A wide variety of guidance and standards documents are available. The technical facts are provided in these documents but how the different elements have evolved, and the full body of understanding that they reflect, are not well documented. Understanding the "spirit" of the RP system is an integral component of its effective application. In order to appropriately apply the RP system to existing and emerging situations, such aspects – the nuances, history and between-the-line meanings – need to be fully understood by tomorrow's leaders in order to progress in the radiological protection field.

    The CRPPH has long served as a forum for exchange and co-operation, to establish best practices, contribute to the development of the key recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and issue innumerable technical and policy documents that capture the state of the art of RP thinking at specific points in time. The NEA decided to develop a learning programme in order to pass on a deep understanding of the spirit of the RP system, along with how it is intended to be applied in diverse and newly emerging circumstances.

    As a first step towards the establishment of a long-term programme, the NEA, in co-operation with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and the Centre for Radiation Protection Research (CRPR) of Stockholm University, has decided to launch a pilot International Radiological Protection School (IRPS).

    Key topics

    The following subjects will be covered during the programme to be held over five full days, with sessions built on a mix of presentations and illustrative case study discussions. Leadership and stakeholder engagement skills will be deliberated as an undercurrent of the more technical aspects of these topics, and illustrative case studies will be used to introduce practical aspects of the implementation of RP actions:

    • the foundation of the international RP framework – detriment, dose, and other fundamentals; exploring the RP system: past, present, and future;
    • building a system of protection around exposure situations: new approaches in international guidance;
    • evolving issues: ethics, NORM, and public communication;
    • state of the art: radiological aspects of biological, epidemiological and social science.

    Learning objectives

    • Gain an historical overview of how and why the RP system has evolved, and an understanding of the levels, effects and risks of ionising radiation – explained by the experts who contributed to the system's creation;
    • critically understand how the RP system's key features are applied in RP regulation and implementation;
    • understand the roles and differences in approaches at the international and national levels (e.g. International Commission on Radiological Protection [ICRP], International Atomic Energy Agency Basic Safety Standards [IAEA-BSS], European Basic Safety Standards Directives [EU-BSS], National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements [NCRP]);
    • learn about the current state of the art in biological, epidemiological and social science fields as applicable to radiological protection;
    • discuss lecturer and participant perceptions, experiences and suggestions in relation to the potential evolutionary direction of the current RP system;
    • illustrate good RP communication and leadership skills through presentations and case studies.

    Download the draft programme

    Target group

    This course is aimed at mid-career experts with relevant education and a minimum of five years of work experience in the field of radiological protection (see pre-requisites below).

    IRPS participants should hold positions at government ministries, regulatory authorities, research institutions, nuclear fuel cycle industries or other industrial sectors where their jobs include providing policy and practical level advice on RP matters.

    Medical radiological protection experts are welcome to join the course; however, the application of ionising radiation in medical diagnostics or treatment is not the focus of the training.

    Course organisation

    Teaching methods

    The teaching for each module will be practical, dynamic and interactive. Talks and presentations from radiological protection experts will be accompanied by case-based discussions and group exercises. Participants will also have the opportunity to address relevant soft skills.

    Lecturers will build on participants' own experiences to keep discussions directly relevant to their situation and concerns insofar as possible.


    All course instruction, course materials and discussions are in English.


    Candidates must meet the following two minimum requirements:

    1. proficiency in English (B2 or equivalent), particularly oral communication, which is essential for effective participation in the programme;
    2. relevant professional work experience in the radiological protection field.

    The table below provides a description of the suitable applicants' education and work experience.

    Education level Work experience
    No College Degree 10-15 years
    Bachelor degree 10 years
    Master degree 7 years
    Doctoral degree 5 years

    Participants must hold insurance to cover accidents, hospitalisation and repatriation.

    Application and admission process

    The IRPS is open to a maximum of 30 participants. The NEA will select successful applicants from all the applications submitted by the deadline.

    Candidates need to complete an online application, which includes the submission of a CV and a statement detailing the reasons for wanting to attend the course (see application instructions).

    Applications must be received by 30 April 2018. All applicants will be informed by June 2018 whether or not they have been accepted to participate in the course.

    Successful applicants will receive additional course information, as well as bank payment details.

    Registration fees

    The registration fee is 500 euros, which will be used solely to cover costs, including:

    • the educational programme;
    • print and electronic reference materials;
    • a canteen card covering five lunches;
    • the welcome reception;
    • the informal barbecue organised at Stockholm University;
    • a formal dinner;
    • a guided tour of the Vasa Museum.

    Costs associated with travel expenses (including meals not mentioned above), accommodation, insurance and any other miscellaneous items are not covered by the registration fee and shall be borne exclusively by the participant.

    The registration fee must be paid in full to the NEA at least eight weeks prior to the start of the course. Course participation is confirmed only upon receipt of the full payment of the registration fee.

    The registration fee is not subject to French taxes. 


    Participants will be requested to complete a short pre-course assignment and to be familiar with a small set of reference documents. Details will be sent to the selected participants, together with a list of reference readings.


    On completion of the programme, participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

    A total of 1.5 university credits (ECTS) can also be awarded to participants, by Stockholm University, upon request.


    The IRPS is organised by the NEA in co-operation with the Centre for Radiation Protection Research (CRPR) of Stockholm University and with the support of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM).

    Advisory Board

    The International Radiological Protection School Advisory Board provides overall direction and strategy for the implementation of the IRPS. The Advisory Board is composed of well-respected radiological protection experts from around the world.

    Practical information


    The IRPS will take place on the campus of Stockholm University located at:

    Svante Arrheniusväg 20C
    10691 Stockholm

    Information regarding Stockholm can be found at:


    Local accommodation information will be distributed to participants upon their acceptance in the course.

    Questions and contact information

    Nuclear Energy Agency
    Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety
    Ms Chiara Guido and Dr Ted Lazo
    46, Quai Alphonse Le Gallo
    92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France